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Everything posted by Hayley

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings

    Just before Gandalf puts it into the fire (after they've been talking about the way the ring chose to betray Isildur and Gollum), as Frodo passes it to him 'it felt suddenly heavy, as if either it or Frodo himself was in some way reluctant to give it to Gandalf'. To be honest it could actually be that it's already getting some grip over Frodo, and so Frodo doesn't want to give it away the same way Bilbo didn't, but since we'd just been reading about the way the ring sort of chooses who to go to, that's the way I read it. Yes, that's a good point. Although the ring actually gets it badly wrong in that case doesn't it? Since Gandalf thinks hobbits are actually particularly resistant to the rings power! We could always switch to three when we get to The Two Towers?
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings

    Something I’ve been thinking about from the first three chapters: why do you think the ring doesn’t want to go to Gandalf? Gandalf himself obviously thinks he’d be vulnerable to the ring, since he doesn’t want to touch it, and if the ring did go to Gandalf it would have a far more powerful host - so why does it want to stay with Frodo instead?
  3. Seasonal Poems

    The days are short, The sun a spark, Hung thin between The dark and dark. Fat snowy footsteps Track the floor. Milk bottles burst Outside the door. The river is A frozen place Held still beneath The trees of lace. The sky is low. The wind is gray. The radiator Purrs all day. January by John Updike
  4. A Book Blog 2022 by Books do Furnish a Room

    I have this on my shelf and am now hoping that I don’t find the ending to be too much of a let down! Your review makes me think that it has a stronger link to actual historical events than I expected though, which is nice.
  5. Alias Grace

    I'm so glad you loved it too!
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings

    I assumed you were suggesting we skip the prologue . I actually do like Concerning Hobbits but I didn't read it before the book and I definitely think it would have seemed odd if I had, so agree on this point! We haven't gotten to the right part yet, but I think the delay is kind of explained later? Do you think Merry and Pippin actually seem more like individuals in the book, where they blend together a bit in the films? I know what you mean with the pacing at the start but I actually love the first chapter! Tolkien's narrative voice feels so calm and reassuring. I also love the whole concept of the Shire and Hobbits (probably why I like the prologue too).
  7. Bookish New Year Resolutions

    That’a a good resolution And that’s exciting! I used to love Goosebumps!! Are they as good as you remember??
  8. Read-a-thons 2022

    Excellent . I did manage to get one more chapter in on Sunday evening, so I only have a few stories left in that book now!
  9. What are you eating just now?

    Okay, that's fair. I trust your biscuit judgement again . I had beef stew for dinner and it was delicious. I had a second bowl. Comforting and used up all the leftover vegetables.
  10. The Lord of the Rings

    I am but I’m waiting for my book to come! (I was going to borrow the series from my sister but decided I’d like to have one of my own). It should be here by tomorrow . It was a good decision
  11. Welcome to my 2022 book blog! I'll be keeping things simple and up to date, using the same method of rating that I have for a while (out of five, where 5 is absolutely amazing, 4 is very good, 3 is good, 2 it was okay and 1 something I didn't really like). Last year, as I've mentioned elsewhere, I read far less than I usually do, with a total (I think) of 16 books. As always I'll be setting a goal of 50 and we'll see how close I can get! Thread now open! Let the reading begin
  12. First book of the year (although started in 2021): Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children 3) by Ransom Riggs (4.5/5) - I loved it As with the previous two books, this was wonderfully imaginative and addictively readable. The more sinister themes of the series come to the fore in this third novel. There are overt references to torture and it very clearly indicates a connection between the 'bad guys' of the series and the Nazis. As a result, the stakes feel much higher and moments of danger more tense. Now, on to why I didn't give this one a full five stars. I really did still love it, I could happily have sat reading it for hours, but I just didn't quite love it as much as the previous two. I realise this is purely personal preference, not a fault in the book, but I loved the exploration and fantastical discoveries of the first two. For much of this one we are only following two characters and I missed seeing all the uses of various 'peculiar' abilities in the same way that I missed discovering the secrets of new 'loops' (essentially alternate worlds). Those things aren't entirely absent, but they aren't used anywhere near as much. I did get the impression that this book, especially at the end, was setting up for a new part of the story. It ties some things up and loosens the rules about other things which would have restricted the characters. With the ending in mind, I have a feeling that the next book might return to the stronger theme of exploration and discovery, and I can't wait to read it! I'm now reading A Very Murderous Christmas and still dipping in to Silence in the Age of Noise by Erling Kagge
  13. Read-a-thons 2022

    Has anybody been participating in this one? I started out with big plans and on Thursday and chose a book I thought I might be able to finish (A Very Murderous Christmas - I know it's a bit late but I did want to read it this year and decided there's no harm extending the festive spirit!), but I had a lot of changes to my work schedule on Friday and Saturday (which meant I ended up starting extra early and finishing late) so it didn't quite work out! I did still manage to read 4 of the stories (which is nearly half of the book) so I'm pretty happy with that. I think I can probably get one more in before the end of the day too .
  14. What are you eating just now?

    . This should be in the debating section . Which ones?? I love milk chocolate digestive biscuits. Especially if you take two, place them together with the chocolate side facing in, then dip them in tea so you end up with a melted chocolate middle. Yum. Now I want biscuits...
  15. Storygraph

    Seconded. I don’t even bother reading the recommendations any more! I’ve never used Storygraph but I just had a look and it seems good in theory! Although this doesn’t give me high hopes for their algorithms…
  16. Pets - 2022

    I've been thinking about our old pet threads recently and how much I used to enjoy seeing other peoples pets! Although I still got to see lots of lovely pictures of pets on the forum this year, there wasn't a specific place for them any more. So I've been saving some news until today, when I could start a new 2022 Pets thread... Everyone, meet Lilly: She is a little ball of joy and chaos and I love her. Please use this thread to tell everyone about your current pets and your pet memories
  17. Pets - 2022

    Luckily she hasn't gotten hold of any money but my hairbrush has a few teeth marks in it now! Oh they are so lovely! Their stories are heart-breaking though. I will never understand how some humans can be so cruel . I'm glad they both got good loving homes in the end.
  18. Pets - 2022

    Was that Desi? I love dalmatians, they always seem so full of character (and the picture you posted of Desi in the other thread was especially full of character!). Luckily Lilly is not tall enough to reach the bread bin! I was not warned about that trait - she also puts her nose in all my pockets . They are so soft!!! Thank you she is still a puppy, nearly 14 weeks now! She is beautiful!! I would read whatever Sybil wanted Ah, that's a shame. Maybe further ahead in the future though! A cat or rabbit would be lovely additions to the family anyway (and there were, sadly, so many cats waiting for new homes when we were looking - I just wanted to adopt everything ). The story behind getting Lilly was a funny one actually (well, not exactly ha-ha funny) - we had been applying to various rescue centres for quite a while and then someone got in touch who was desperate to rehome a young beagle (due to change in family circumstances) and thought we would be perfect. We were so happy, he seemed like such a lovely dog and we went out to buy him all the things he would need after setting a date and time to collect him. Then, two days before we were meant to pick him up, his original owner changed their mind. They didn't want to let him go and said they would find a way to keep him... so that was a pretty awful feeling (although I am happy for them if they genuinely found a way around their problems). Then, by chance, the very next day my boyfriend saw a post from someone who wasn't a breeder, but had wanted their family dog (a beagle!) to have a single litter of puppies. Obviously they couldn't keep all of them, so they were looking for good homes for the rest. I liked the way they were checking on the homes the puppies were going to, like the rescue centres do, but I still felt a little bit suspicious since they weren't an organisation and we didn't know them personally. But, anyway, my boyfriend really wanted to give them a chance so I got in touch and talked to them a bit, went to their house and met their family dog (who was lovely) and, while we were there, Lilly kept running up to me and licking my hands... and my heart just melted at that point so we had to ask them if we could take her home . Me too! I don't know why we stopped doing them! (and I told Lilly you said hi ) This is a moment of pure, adorable joy (Dash seems like a very appropriate name too!) They're not rubbish! That level of relaxation is a bit of a contrast to the other picture though . (I imagine those ears are also very soft).
  19. Read-a-thons 2022

    Thanks for this, I'm looking forward to our first 2022 read-a-thon!
  20. Happy New Year!

    Happy New Year! I hope you all read some excellent books, stay safe and have loads of happy moments in 2022 .
  21. Pets - 2022

    What pets would you like to have?? Yes she’s a beagle and definitely quite a character! She loves to sleep curled up on me, which is very cute, but she’s also very clever in ways that are sometimes unfortunate (like working out that she can just about reach to tap the top of the bin and open it ).
  22. Spare one, just in case
  23. Warnings and Alerts

    If anybody noticed a security warning on the forum tonight there’s no need to worry. Our security certificate should have updated automatically at midnight but didn’t, so it had to be done manually. It’s all sorted now .
  24. Hayley's Reading in 2021

    I usually start my reading thread with a list of books on my shelf but, to be honest, I usually forget to cross them off anyway, so let's do things a bit differently this year. Every year I set my reading goal on goodreads to 50. I'm yet to actually make it to 50 but I do like a challenge. So 50 it is for 2021! Total Number of Books read in 2021: 0 I also usually do a 'books acquired' list (and I've only just realised that 'acquired' makes it sound like I might be stealing the books... I actually just meant books that I've received as presents as well as ones I bought for myself!). I started doing that to try to make sure I was getting through the books already on my shelves faster than (or at least at the same time that) I was buying new ones. But 2020 hasn't really left me in the mood for being sensible about books. Honestly I'm planning to buy as many books as I can afford in 2021. And I'm going to make sure I give myself more time to read. I know this year is going to have many of the same challenges as 2020. Things aren't going to be easy. But I do also know that giving myself time to relax has a huge impact on how productive I am when I'm working. So reading more is a win/win decision . Here's to a year where we get to read more, relax more and look forward to better things
  25. Hayley's Reading in 2021

    Well this thread was very neglected in 2021 - but so was my reading, actually. I’m not sure this is 100% accurate but I’m fairly sure I read 16 books this year, which is nowhere near as many books as I usually read! On the plus side, I’m sure I can beat that in 2022… Before we get to the 2022 book blog though, I wanted to finish up this one with some very brief thoughts on the books I have read… The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry The thing that really sticks in my head about this one is just how beautifully it was written. Not a great deal actually happens. It’s definitely not action packed. But it was a genuine pleasure to pick up every time and become immediately immersed in the atmosphere of the Essex marsh. For that reason it was also incredibly easy to dip in and out of. It also makes some interesting observations on different kinds of love. Would definitely recommend this one. Botanical Folk Tales by Lisa Schneidau I loved this book. It contains a series of short folk tales from Britain, organised by season (and related in some way, of course, to a flower, plant or tree). Another one that was very easy to dip in and out of but, at the same time, I found myself desperately wanting to read just one more story whenever I picked it up. The selection of stories is excellent and most were totally new to me. I love folk and fairy tales anyway but this collection is like going on a journey through the seasons as well. Queste by Angie Sage The fourth book in the Septimus Heap series and I’m still really enjoying it. I thought the concept behind the plot of this one was very clever and there were some developments with a couple of characters which I really didn’t expect. Looking forward to the next one! The Dance of the Serpents by Oscar de Muriel I think everyone knows by now that I just love the Fray and McGray series. This one had me just as gripped as they always do and ended with a hint that makes the next book seem all the more exciting. Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon I loved this book too! It totally surpassed my expectations. It was absolutely gripping, I had no idea what was going to happen and it had a whole cast of memorable and interesting characters. Victorian sensation fiction at its finest. I would definitely highly recommend this one. Writing this actually made me realise that, although I didn’t read that much this year, I really enjoyed what I did read! Let’s hope next year is full of books just as good but in higher volume . Happy New Year everyone! I’m going to start as I mean to go on now - by putting my pyjamas on and curling up with a book .